Leadership roles motivate student to pursue higher ed career

Emanuel “Manny” Cifuentes-Machado ’19 has received so many leadership opportunities and positive experiences at Dominican that the business and communications double major has decided to give back.

Manny, who recently completed his third summer with the LeaderShape Bay Area Consortium on campus, already is planning to attend grad school and earn a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs.

“I think what has helped me become inspired and prepared to pursue a career in higher education was to have a healthy disregard for the impossible. This was an important lesson I got throughout the three times I went to LeaderShape,” says Manny, an on-site coordinator for the Institute’s annual summer session the past two years.

“In life, we are faced with various challenges and obstacles. However, we have to continue to strive so that we can make a difference within our communities. Although it may seem impossible, perceiving and asking for help when needed will ultimately work in the end. In this case, it is doing what I can to help college students, especially first generation students, feel like they are a part of a fun, loving, supportive, diverse, and an inclusive community.”

Manny found that at Dominican through the Barowsky School of Business and the School of Liberal Arts and Education. The support and recommendations offered him by peers, such as Jennessica Holliday ‘18, Danielle O’Reilly ‘18, and Adam Santiago ’16, encouraged him to pursue a myriad of opportunities across campus. Manny became a Resident Assistant (RA) in Pennafort Hall and a work study student in Human Resources. He joined the Diversity Action Group, worked as assistant to the VIP Reception Lead for lectures hosted by the Institute for Leadership Studies, and the last two years served as president of the PRIDE Club on campus.

Last April, the PRIDE Club was named Student Organization of the Year at the annual Penguin Leadership Awards and Manny was honored as the student recipient of a Dr. Melba Beals Award for Excellence in Diversity.

For Manny, whose concentration is in Management with a minor in Leadership Studies, it reaffirmed his commitment and decision to enroll at Dominican, which was prompted by his AVID teacher at South San Francisco High School. She convinced him to attend an open house for undergraduate candidates at Dominican. He admits he was reluctant to do her a favor and visit.

“Basically, the first moment I stepped onto this campus I fell in love with it and thought `Darn. She was right,’  ” Manny recalls. “My heart just told me to come here.”

Manny’s Dominican experience began before freshman classes started. He joined the TORCH program, which is aimed at helping students make the transition to college life. TORCH leaders Dr. Henry Shreibman and Cheramie Leo were the first of many advisers he encountered.

“Through that experience and the opportunities they gave me in summer session it made me more comfortable. I started as a freshman with a foundation of community that I was able to expand and here I am today,” Manny says. “When I got here it just happened. I was inspired by the sense of community and it led from being involved in one thing to another.”


June 18, 2018